Spanish officials have confirmed that around 1,000 people have been evacuated from the rural Navalacruz area after blazing wildfires, fueled by strong winds and high heat, destroyed at least 12,000 hectares of land at the weekend.
Speaking on Monday, regional environment chief Juan Carlos Suarez-Quinones warned that strong winds, high temperatures, and low humidity have fueled the spread of the inferno, but said firefighters are close to bringing the blaze under control.
If there is no change in the wind conditions, we should be able to stabilize the fire today.
The wildfire in the Navalacruz area, roughly 120km west of Madrid, started after a car caught fire on a road on Saturday, with more than eight villages evacuated as a result. More than 1,000 firefighters, 140 military personnel, helicopters and planes were deployed to combat the blaze.
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Before firefighters could get the blaze under control, the flames spread, with the mayor of Solosancho, a town in the area, calling it a “very hard” time for residents.
“There have been moments of tension, panic, anguish, but we are in good hands,” the mayor, Jesus Martin, said at the weekend, while describing how the region’s “mountain range has been burned.”
Officials have provided temporary housing for those displaced by the blaze, which has threatened forest, livestock, villages and towns alike as it spread and destroyed some 12,000 hectares of land.
The wildfires in Spain are the latest blazes to impact countries across Europe, with Greece, Italy and Turkey also suffering devastating fires. Elsewhere in the world, Algeria and Bolivia have seen major blazes in recent weeks that caused evacuations and destroyed extensive areas of farms and woodland.
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